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New technologies to accelerate Australian mining industry

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

The adoption of digital automation technologies in the mining industry has the potential to add US$74 billion in value to the Australian economy by 2030 and create more than 80 000 new jobs.

These are some of the key findings from the 'Staying ahead of the game' report, released by Industry Growth Centres METS Ignited and NERA (National Energy Resources Australia). Prepared by AlphaBeta, the report looks to understand the positive impact new technology could bring to the local sector.

"There is a real and immediate opportunity, Australia has the right foundation and experience to create a highly competitive resources technology ecosystem, contributing more jobs and growth to our economy," said METS Ignited CEO, Adrian Beer.

"As an industry, we must focus on having the right framework in place to realise this vision: actively upskilling our workforce for their future roles; strengthening collaboration among industry, government and education providers; investing more in commercially-orientated research and development".

Automation has been in the sector for some time, however the next wave of growth will come from the widespread adoption of Industry 4.0 technology. Australia's METS companies are well placed to lead this next phase.

"The growing use of digital technology creates additional social and economic benefits for the broader community as well. We will see significant environmental advantages, improvements in workplace health and safety outcomes, and further investment in regional centres and local technology providers if our industry acts now".

NERA CEO Miranda Taylor said the report findings indicate a critical opportunity for Australia's resources industries to take the actions needed to ensure they can translate automation and robotic technologies into real employment and productivity advantages.

"As part of the Industry Growth Centres Initiative, we have a mandate to ensure Australian industry adapts to rapidly changing technology and emerging workforce trends. This report demonstrates the transformative effects that new technologies have and will continue to exert across industry supply networks and the enormous benefits that flow from supporting and integrating innovation. Just as importantly, it also highlights the very real consequences at a national level, if we fail to, or are too slow in harnessing the value that new technologies present us," Taylor said.

"To ensure Australia leads, in taking up this automation opportunity, we must continue to inform and support our sectors about future workforce and skill requirements. Sector-wide collaboration is critical to addressing workforce planning issues, widening and deepening the pipeline of appropriately skilled personnel, cementing a culture of R&D investment and growing our entrepreneurial ecosystem to continue commercialising and integrating new technologies."

"To realise this vision, Australia needs to be bold. Policymakers, mining and oil and gas companies, education providers, and researchers need to work together to ensure Australia provides the right environment to thrive in an increasingly competitive globalised environment," said Andrew Charlton, Partner at AlphaBeta.

"If we focus on the right pathway to spearhead this technological progress, mining, gas and oil support systems will continue to be delivered by Australian firms and the jobs will continue to be created in Australia.

"But if we choose to ignore this report, our competitive advantage will severely diminish. If we act now, the total number of jobs can increase and Australia can maintain its competitiveness in the mining, gas and oil industries."

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Australian mining news